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Back To School Sevierville Style

Family Shopping Headquarters: Sevierville, Tennessee

Turn back-to-school shopping into a family vacation in the Smoky Mountains


By Hope S. Philbrick

As summer rounds the corner toward back to school, you may feel a mix of emotions as a parent. Sadness upon realizing that the kids are getting older. Joy that days filled with requests for snacks every ten minutes are winding down. A twinge of nostalgia for lazy afternoons spent running through the sprinkler and licking popsicles to beat the heat. Relief that soon you won’t have to plan activities to fill each long day.

You might also feel conflicted about how to best use what little of summer remains. Squeeze in one last family vacation? Or run back-to-school shopping errands?

No need to decide. In Sevierville, Tennessee you can do both!

Great Smoky Mountains near Sevierville, Tennessee

Sevierville is a family travel playground so packed with attractions and rich with natural resources that there truly is something for everyone. It’s also a haven for shoppers of all ages. Head to Sevierville and it’s easy to infuse a shopping-focused getaway with a hefty dose of family fun.

From outlet malls to one-of-a-kind boutiques, Sevierville is loaded with stores. Nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the community enjoys cool mountain temperatures, which can mean less whining about discomfort while lugging around bags stuffed with everything on your list. Best of all, saving money on what you need, want and find is easy: Just download the Sevierville Smoky Mountains and Tanger apps and also pick up a coupon book at the Sevierville Visitors Center.

Tanger Outlets Sevierville is one of the brand’s most popular locations and the largest authentic outlet center in the state of Tennessee. It offers brand names in nearly 100 stores at discount prices of up to 70 percent off retail on designer clothing, shoes, accessories and more. (You can even sweeten the deals: Buy a Tanger Coupon Book for $5 to help save over $1,675—the book is free for police, fire, rescue service and military personnel.)

For kids clothing, popular outlets include Gymboree Outlet, Janie & Jack, Hot Topic, Old Navy Outlet, Under Armour Youth, Disney Outlet and OshKosh B’gosh. For shoes don’t miss Nike Factory Store and The Children’s Place. The best part of shopping with your children? They’re more likely to wear what they helped select.

Just for fun, you might take a shopping break to play a round of miniature golf at Ripley’s Old MacDonald’s Mini-Golf, which is conveniently located at Tanger Outlets Sevierville. Play the “Chicken Eggspress,” “Porky Putts,” or the “Udder Course” surrounded by animatronic farm animals that comment on your golf swing. When it’s time for a snack indulge in ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s or sweets at The Fudgery.

Havin' Fun in Sevierville, Tennessee
Famous Shopping in Sevierville, Tennessee

Whether the summer reading list was neglected or completed, head to Books A Million, located at the Governor’s Crossing Outlet Center next door to Tanger Outlets Sevierville. The third-largest book retailer in the U.S. offers books, NOOK readers and a range of entertainment options from movies to electronics. To stock up on supplies for future school projects as well as everything you need to preserve family memories, stop by Your Scrapbook Clearance Store, which sells an impressive selection of scrapbook supplies at 50 percent off.

The whole family can get new footwear and save at Boot Factory Outlet. Choose any pair of Western, work, hiking, fashion or motorcycle boots and get two additional pairs free—and, yes, three different family members can each choose a pair and you’ll pay only the cost of the highest priced pair!

At Bass Pro Shop find kids’ T-shirts, jeans, camo, outerwear and more by popular brands like Columbia and The North Face. The megastore also features adult footwear and apparel, plus supplies for camping, hiking, kayaking and other outdoor adventures in the Smoky Mountains and beyond.

Stay at Wilderness at the Smokies and when you return to the hotel after a day of shopping, you won’t need to leave again. Tennessee’s largest indoor waterpark plus two seasonal outdoor waterparks are exclusive to overnight guests (admission is included in room rates). With a total of 17 waterslides, nine pools, a lazy river, and multiple water rides and attractions, guests of all ages and heights will find multiple ways to splash, slide and surf. Among the options is a 55-foot drop into a swirling funnel, the region’s only body-surfing simulator, and a vortex with a near-vertical trap-door release. An indoor adventure forest offers additional challenges with the option of staying dry.

Of course, there are other adventures in town. One of the newest is Sevier Air Trampoline & Ninja Warrior Park, which features 38,000-square feet of jumping, bouncing and flipping fun. Find 60 trampolines, an obstacle course inspired by the popular Ninja Warrior TV show, plus a three-story net system specifically designed for youngsters age two to ten. There are also two competition dodgeball courts, a two-sided rock wall, three basketball goals, two tumble tracks for gymnastics, a rope swing, and a jousting area above a foam pit.

Havin' Fun in Sevierville, Tennessee
Dolly Parton's Bronze Statue in Sevierville, Tennessee

If you prefer a slower pace, visit the Rainforest Adventures Discovery Zoo. Featuring over 600 live animals representing more than 130 species, this place is packed with creatures from cute to creepy that are sure to give you something to talk about (plus plaques and brochures help answer questions sure to arise). Among the exotic birds, bugs, reptiles, mammals and amphibians that you’ll see are a northern blue-tongued skink, African crested porcupine, and golden headed lion tamarins which are some of the smallest and rarest monkeys on earth, plus many others.

Before leaving Sevierville, don’t miss the bronze statue of Dolly Parton on the Sevier County Courthouse lawn. In the 30 years since it was unveiled, this tribute to the superstar by her hometown community has attracted millions of visitors from all over the world. You can learn more about the piece of art as well as the superstar herself by touring a special exhibit, 30: Celebrating Dolly in Bronze, on display through the end of the year at the Sevierville Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center.

Get away to Sevierville to enjoy a little more time together as a family before summer is over and prepare for the school year ahead.

For more information contact the Sevierville, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce at 1-888-766-5948 or VisitSevierville.com.


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